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Uniquely New York City (NYC)


New York City (NYC)
Halloween Parade

Photo Credit: Halloween-NYC

Thrill is at the core of this carnival type event, which takes place on October 31 between 6pm and 10pm. Over 2 million people gather to watch this crazy, crowded and chaotic event - the Halloween Parade in NYC’s Greenwich Village. The parade, which is the nation’s only major night parade, stretches a mile along Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 23rd Street. Crowds begin to form two hours before the show to obtain good viewing spots. Atmosphere of dread and excitement dominates this adventure, as most fantastic and frightening creatures float across the Sixth Avenue before amazed audiences. Halloween night is also a busy night for the restaurants and bars along the parade route.

The parade was created in 1973 by a Greenwich Village mask and puppet maker named Ralph Lee, who initiated a neighborhood walk and celebration for his children and friends. Today, it has grown to become the world’s largest Halloween celebration and has been picked by the Festivals International as “The Best Event in the World” for October 31. Some 50,000 people are part of the spectacle including costumed marchers, puppeteers, bands, dancers, cars and floats. The Halloween Parade is a magnet for bold creativity, and some of the world’s most unique and grotesque Halloween costumes can be seen here. Anyone wearing a costume can march in the parade and the event is extensively covered by the media nationally and world wide.

Every year, the Halloween procession is headed by giant puppets and special costumed performances. Most people don’t realize how much work goes into these designs. Throughout the summer and fall a number of workshops in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Cleveland and the North East work tirelessly to create new puppets and costumes to fulfill the changing themes of each new parade. They are helped by some 300 volunteers who assist at various stages of the process. Behind the scenes, there is also an army of professional lighting designers, stage managers, carpenters and electricians who work in unison every year to bring the unforgettable, ever changing Halloween experience to NYC.

In 2012, the parade was canceled because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. This marked the first time that the famous parade has been canceled in its 39-year history. In 2013, the parade returned under the revival theme "Hallelujah Halloween" and was a great success.

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